So…tonight's Sunday Snippet is from a novella that's about half way completed. Covert Heart is a mashup of Sci Fi with spy stuff. Two of my favorite genres. J
Here's the tagline:
An impossible task. A couple sworn to carry it out or die trying. One big test of the depth of their courage and love.
And here's the wee sneaky peek…
Emma Wells enjoyed her work. She didn't have deep political aspirations but the process of watching everything unfold fascinated her. When the opportunity came for attachment to the covert security force that protected the highest government officials, Emma jumped at the chance to be on the team.
She had no regrets. Whether undercover or working from the trenches, she loved what she did. She'd bumped into Rick McBride when he had a character persona, Rick Martin, fully embedded. An asshat personality, one she wanted to bitchslap within five seconds of meeting. Forced to work with him, she had to rein in the desire to kill him by the end of the first week. By chance, she'd arrived early for an event she ran security for and caught him in a conversation with the chancellor of the planetary alliance…who happened to be his father. Only she hadn't known that at the time.
A completely different man emerged and Emma wondered what the hell she'd walked into. She did some subtle digging and found holes in his credentials. Again, she watched and waited, keeping a very keen eye on his every move. If Rick stepped out line by an inch, she'd take him out.
Another week went by before she confronted him, or well, he confronted her. She'd give him credit, he didn't break cover. Instead he put on a flawless performance, walking into her office, a grim look on his face. Apparently her very quiet probe into his background hadn't gone unnoticed. He dropped the asshat persona the man she'd caught a glimpse of earlier emerged. Sharp, intelligent, and keenly aware of her mistrust, he closed her door and settled himself in the empty chair beside her desk.
Emma barely kept her jaw from dropping when he asked one simple question.
Fully expecting a full blown meltdown or interrogation, she had a list of answers prepped and memorized. Members of the same security team did not run background checks on each other, but she'd come up with several plausible excuses if she hadn't covered her trail. Her only problem? None of her replies could answer such a supremely vague query?
Emma quirked a brow. "Are you asking me why I think you're an egotistical pain in the ass?" As a cover it stuck very close to the truth. "I can give you the rundown in numerical or alphabetical order." She met and held his gaze. "Which do you prefer?"
Rick barked out a laugh. "Great answer." He rose from the seat. "And we'll leave it at that…for now." He crossed the office and opened the door, looking back over his shoulder. "I do strongly suggest you refrain from any more hacking until this detail is over." He left without another word.
Emma's eyes widened. By rights, he should have reported her to the chancellor and she wondered why he hadn't. His amusement puzzled her, and she didn't trust him enough to not be wary. He also hadn't quite convinced her there wasn't more to the walking, talking asshole image he presented either.
Curiosity piqued, she followed him for two days before he turned the tables on her. Again. She returned home after losing him in the throng of people outside a gala art show only to find the man sitting in her living room, drinking her best liquor.
Emma had her weapon drawn and aimed within seconds.
He raised his glass. "You've got excellent taste." He drained the contents. "And you can put the gun away. I'm not here to hurt you."
She snorted, but slowly lowered the sidearm, keeping it in her hand. "What are you doing here?"
Rick's lips curved in a half smile. "Why are you following me?" He leaned forward and poured another drink.
Emma shrugged. "I don't trust you. There's something you're not telling me and it's my job to know everything about the upcoming event." She raised a brow, daring him to deny her words.
Rick considered her for several moments. "You're smarter than you look." He kicked back, making himself comfortable.
Emma bit her tongue to keep from saying the first insulting thing that popped into her head. Instead she asked, "Meaning I look what? Stupid?"
Rick smirked. "No, not stupid. But getting past the tits and teeth to see the intelligent woman probably isn't something most men do."
She didn't whether to be insulted or complimented. "Never let the package fool you. You'll prove yourself to be the utter prick everyone thinks you are."
He laughed. "Touche. And very well said." He took a long sip of the alcohol. "You've got a meeting with Chancellor McBride at 0900 tomorrow." He finished the drink. "I strongly suggest you not miss it."
Emma narrowed her eyes. "Care to tell me what it's all about?" She'd definitely make the meet, but wanted to see if he'd give anything away.
Rick placed his glass on the table. "Just be there." He rose and strode toward her front door. "And play down the beauty queen angle. The chancellor gets easily distracted." Pulling open the door, he gave her a farewell salute and left.
Emma sank down on the loveseat and shook her head. "Dickhead." Pouring a healthy amount of liquor in Rick's empty glass, she gulped it down.
She hoped her meeting with Chancellor McBride solved the enigma of Rick Martin.
She had no idea how hard that would bite her on the ass.
Emma and Rick don't have the most conventional beginning, but they do find some very common ground. Then get tossed into a ton of intrigue. Fun times. LOL
That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip!